Kathy Kotecki, Office for Community Involvement, 657-1660
Reno Charette, Native American Studies Program, 657-2144
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269
January 16, 2008
Champion of Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Gov. Schweitzer, to Speak at MSU Billings' annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration
BECAUSE OF BAD WINTER WEATHER — AND DICY ROAD CONDITIONS IN THE HELENA AREA — OUR WORKSHOP SPEAKER (see details below…) WAS NOT ABLE TO TRAVEL TO BILLINGS FOR THIS EVENT. IT WILL BE RESCHEDUELD AT A LATER DATE. STAY TUNED FOR DETAILS.
Valerie Taliman to follow Monday, Jan. 21 address with university workshop on Tuesday, Jan. 22
Taliman will also provide a workshop at MSU Billings for students, faculty and the public about the rights of indigenous peoples.
All events are free and open to the public.
The bell-ringing ceremony and
program will be Monday, Jan. 21 at the
MSU Billings main campus,
At the SUB, Eran Thompson,
director of organizing for Montana People’s
Action, will recite King’s noted “I Have Been to
the Mountaintop” speech. That speech was given
on April 3, 1968, the night before he was
assassinated. Following Thompson’s
presentation, Schweitzer and Taliman will speak
about civil rights and diversity issues in
Taliman, an enrolled citizen
of the Navajo Nation, is currently Director of
Communications for the
In September 2007, the ILRC was instrumental in awareness of sovereignty rights when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the landmark Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Though non-binding, the declaration will help inform federal judges, Congress and government officials about the rights of tribes and indigenous peoples. The declaration lays out in detail indigenous rights to self-government, culture, resource development, language, employment, health and education.
As communications director, Taliman was on the front lines of the work that led to approval of that declaration.
After her keynote address on Monday, Taliman will remain at MSU Billings to give a workshop on sovereignty rights and other issues related to indigenous peoples. That workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 22 at the MSU Billings Library, Room 231, from noon to 1:30 p.m.
Reno Charette, Native American Studies Program coordinator at MSU Billings, said the workshop will be of particular interest to students and others who want to an expert’s viewpoint on sovereignty issues.
“She will be talking about the
declaration, what happens now and what you can
do,” said Charette, who is also the former
Indian Affairs advisor to Gov. Brian Schweitzer.
“She will talk about tribal law and sovereignty
and not just tribal law in
Charette said the work of ILRC
is illustrative of just how effective a single
Taliman also is president of Three Sisters Publishing, a media company incorporated on the Navajo Nation. Three Sisters employs a team of award-winning writers, photographers, editors and designers who produce magazines and public relations materials for a variety of clients.
She is a former columnist, editor and bureau chief for Indian Country Today newspaper, and former producer of Native America Calling, a nationally syndicated American Indian talk radio show heard on more than 100 radio stations. She has been documenting the stories, history and struggles of Indian people throughout Native America for nearly two decades, specializing in environmental justice issues.
For more information on the MLK Day event, contact Kathy Kotecki, director of the Office for Community Involvement at MSU Billings, at 657-1660. For information about Taliman’s workshop and presentation on Jan. 22, contact Charette at 657-2144.